SMITHFIELD, R.I. – With one out and the score knotted up at two runs apiece in the bottom of the ninth, senior Jordan English (Windsor Locks, Conn.) stepped up to the plate and delivered a walk-off double to left center, lifting the Bryant University baseball team past Fairfield, 3-2, Wednesday afternoon in the 2011 home-opener at the Bryant Baseball Complex.
Bryant (7-10, 1-3 NEC) outhit Fairfield (6-9), by a margin of 7 to 11, and was paced offensively by English who went 2-for-4 at the plate and drove in a pair of runs while Jamie Skagerlind (Holden, Mass.) and Daniel St. George (Shelton, Conn.) also contributed with multi-hit games.
Senior Mark Andrews (Hillsborough, Mass.) was impressive out of the bullpen for the home side, working 1.2 innings of relief to keep the Stags at bay and pick up his second win of the season. Reliever Kyle Capaldo took the loss for the visitors, allowing one earned run in 1.0 inning of relief.
Both teams were slow out of the gate until the Stags touched up Bryant starter Brian O'Neil (North Reading, Mass.) for a pair of runs in the top of the fifth. After Ryan Plourde reached base on an error and advanced to second on the throw, Chris Horning followed with an RBI single down the left field line to pick up the first run of the contest. Ryan Furbeck then drove in Horning with an RBI double to right to give the visitors the 2-0 advantage.
The Bulldogs would tie up the game with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh, starting with a leadoff walk by Skagerlind and a single to left by St. George, putting two runners on with no outs. After a fielder's choice kept runners at first and second, English singled down the left field line to drive in a run and trim the lead to one, 2-1. Kevin Brown (Northborough, Mass.) followed with an RBI double to right field to tie up the score, 2-2.
Senior Tim Norton (Barnstable, Mass.) set the table for Bryant's big ninth inning with a leadoff double to left field, paving the way for English's walk-off heroics in the team's home-opening 3-2 victory.
The Black and Gold look to continue their winning ways on Friday, March 25 for the first of a four-game set against Northeast Conference foe, Monmouth. First pitch is set for 3:00 p.m. at the Bryant Baseball Complex.